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Milton, Ontario, Canada

Friday, February 25, 2011

Vacation and Tempo Run


I've been away with my family since Saturday morning (and when I say morning, I mean 4:30 AM). We spent some time at the resort of Mont Tremblant thanks to some friends who have access to a family condo there and we had a wonderful time (side note, four kids 4 and under are a LOT to manage!). While I had all kinds of notions of running while staying at Tremblant (especially as I was not going to ski), I didn't get out once. I'm sure everyone will agree that family time trumps running, even when you are training for a big race.

On a positive note, we stopped in Kanata for the night at my husband's sister's place so I was able to get out for the Sunday LSD run with the Kanata Running Room. While their half marathon group was only going 7k (I should have ran 9k), they had already broken up into pace groups, so I just had to follow my appropriate pace leader, which was easy to do as he had a NYC Marathon jacket on. We did 7k in about 51 minutes and this group employed the 10 and 1 training method that the Running Room favours.

I didn't like it. Not at all. I felt that as soon as I got into a good grove, we were walking. No matter, my usual group does not use this method (shh, don't tell John Stanton), so I'll be back to the normal way of running that I'm comfortable with this Sunday.

Today (Friday), I ignored the "rest" day scheduled in my training (as I had rested from Monday-Thursday) and did my first ever Tempo paced run (my group did two of these this week, Tuesday and Wednesday). I did it at the gym, on the treadmill and call me crazy, but I LOVED it.

I loved increasing the speed and pushing myself and also getting a 5k in rather quickly. I liked the challenge and feel that I could have ran a whee bit faster than I was supposed to, but I'm sticking with what Bing has prescribed for a few weeks to see what I think overall and to see how I feel when I do these runs outside.

In case you're wondering, Bing has me paced to complete the half marathon in 2:26:48 (which is what I calculated using his M-pace of 6:41). My Tempo pace is 6:14 with my easy pace being 7:20 (all per KM). I'll be very happy to finish under 2:30:00, but of course the competitor in me will likely set a more aggressive A goal closer to the date.

In all, the vacation was good, but I'm also glad to be back to training.

Monday, February 14, 2011

"You're running too fast..."

Those are words I never thought I would hear, but I heard them yesterday during our Sunday "easy" run.

It was a beautiful morning for a run, if a bit windy and I somehow ended up right at the front of the group when we got to the start point, so I just started running. I knew fairly early that I was running too quickly, but I kept concentrating on my breathing and it seemed to me that I was doing okay.

Finally, some people passed me (I prefer trailing as then I can get a better sense on how fast I'm actually running), and I slowed down a bit more but continued to run alone.

Bing caught up to me and we began to chat. He kept looking at his pace watch (he's putting us into pace groups next week). I told him how I had finally figured out a pace on the treadmill and he cautioned me about going too fast during our easy runs. He reminded me of our first clinic topic about stress and injury and slow/fast twitch muscles. He also kinda scared me, hinting that if I keep running easy runs too quickly, I may have nothing left in the tank in 89 days. Finally, he drove his point home with the following:
You're currently running a 6:45 (min/k). This means your tempo pace is 5:15 (min/k) and I know you don't have that in you.

Um, no! I could likely run ONE kilometre at 5:15 with Bing running beside me pacing me, but an entire tempo run? HAHAHA!

Anyway, in light of the fact that I don't have a pace watch or a garmin and I don't plan the routes, I guess the only thing to do during group runs is to just run slower. The runs are feeling easier, but I think I'll take the advice of the leader.

Anyway, yesterday I did 7k in 45:10 for 6:27 ave/km. I'm averaging a 6:55 pace on my runs, so I know that Bing was right. Tuesday, I will go out with some ladies who I was finishing with in the early runs and having them near me will keep me on track. I'm sure they'll be in my pace group anyway.

I'm still loving the training!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

I was right!

Last night, during our group run (we are still running short, easy (LSD pace) runs), I thought to myself, This seems to be getting easier.

While it makes sense, I didn't quite trust myself that I was right. Low and behold, the email from our instructor showed up today confirming that the running should be feeling easier. He also warned us to enjoy it because, Bing's Shock and Awe clinic would be starting week of February 20th (good thing my family is away that week! :-) ).

So this morning, when I went to run my Thursday run on the dreadmill at the gym, I decided to push my tempo a bit as my runs outside were averaging about 45 seconds faster per KM than the one's on the 'mill. Of course, it was fine. I was able to complete the entire 4k run, running and the most troublesome part was trying to keep my #$%&ing earbuds in my ears.

Yippee for getting stronger!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Ugg... Sunday's run

Sunday was our long run.

On Saturday night, the GTA got a bit of snow. Not lots, but enough so that sidewalks and roads needed to be plowed.

This weekend was the one I tried to get Fergus (5.5 months) to sleep longer at night and only wake once to eat. I was alone with him as my husband and older son were away visiting my in-laws.

On Sunday morning, Fergus woke up at 5:15am and was up for the day. I was feeling okay, just a bit tired, but I ate something and got us both ready to go (Fergus to my parents, me for the run).

Once I got there, I was rather excited as it was bright and warm outside. That quickly faded when we started.

We started our 7k run on the sidewalk of a very busy main road. The sidewalk had been plowed, but the road plows had just put all of the road snow back on the sidewalk. So we were "running" through mushy, dirty snow. At first it was fun. Until I realized that it went on and on and on. Finally, I followed suit of some of the other runners and jumped on the road until we were able to turn into a subdivision to continue the run on the roadway.

Great, I thought, now things will be easier.

But they weren't. I found the run hard and it just seemed to go on FOR-EV-ER. Thankfully, I grew up in the area where we run, so I know the main roads well. Once we turned back toward the Running Room on a main road, I got up a bit more motivation, but still had a very hard time as it was a uphill route with a poorly plowed sidewalk. I did finish the run without walking, but was over 3 minutes behind my 7k time from the week before.

Upon chatting with some of my colleagues in the clinic last night, a few of the veterans told me not to worry, that Sunday was a bad day to run. That the route was difficult and that it was more like a 10k than a 7k.

I'll take it!

I'm still motivated and doing well otherwise.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

So, training...

Half marathon training is going really well. I'm super motivated and am enjoying meeting with the group for runs (even though I've yet to really speak with anyone). I've been able to completely run every run so far (something I'd never do on my own, that's for sure) and I'm not taking any water for the short runs that we've been doing (3k). I've also been steadily holding to a 6:45/KM pace which is good and bodes well for improving my race time once we begin to train with hills, intervals etc.

I need to work on dressing. Twice now, I've been scared by the -XXc with windchill weather and have dressed far too warmly. I chatted with Bing during the run last night about this and he basically told me to trust in my warmth layer (the resolution run jacket) and my windbreak as it will be enough. I'm really tempted to buy the ubiquitous Running Room wind jacket. I just can't seem to decide on a colour. HA.

I'm SO, SO, SO glad I decided to join the clinic. I know that I'm going to be a much better runner afterwards. I know that I'll likely kill my (in my head) time goal come May. I'm one of the few people who haven't taken a clinic before and I find that I tend to run alone, but finish with the same people, so I should make some friends soon, eh? I'm also in the middle of the pack on easy runs, so that makes me feel good as well.

With all this said, I missed tonight's 3k run with the group because of the snow storm that hit the GTA. I didn't want to drive the normal 20 minute highway drive in the snow for 3k. Had it been a Sunday, I would have done it. So now I have to decide if I should just skip it or if I should double up the run tomorrow for 7k (which will be easy anyway).

Now you're probably laughing - Of course she's enjoying it - short distance, easy runs. I know it'll be harder soon, but at least there is an end goal to keep me motivated.